"Colder: The Bad Seed #3" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Written by Paul Tobin
Illustrated by Juan Ferreyra
2014, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on December 24th, 2014
You can go through a lot of trouble for someone you love. That's certainly the case for Declan and Reece. When she was taken to the insanity-filled Hungry World by the strange and terrifying Swivel, Declan wasted no time jumping in to save her. He may have dove in a bit too deep as Swivel has started to reveal bits and pieces of Declan's past that have been a mystery even to him. What kind of secrets could be lurking behind these misshapen doors? And will this history change the way that Reece feels about Declan?
In thinking about it now, we don't really know all that much about Declan. We know that he was in an asylum decades ago and that Nimble Jack touched him in the first volume of Colder. That put him in a catatonic state and a lowered body temperature (hence the title of the book). How he got into that mental ward is unknown, but we didn't really need that information at the time. Now that that window has been open, I'm very curious as to the details of Declan's past, especially his connection to Swivel. It seems that those ties run a lot deeper than just neighbors in the Hungry World.
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Speaking of Swivel, holy crap is this guy scary. He's not scary in the sense of something jumping out at you in a horror movie or someone like Jason or Michael Myers stalking a victim. Swivel reaches an entirely new level of terror. He's unsettling and disturbing. His mere presence on a page can send a shiver up your spine. You don't know his true intentions, but you just know that they're evil.
Then there are the fingers. Every issue in Colder: The Bad Seed has shown Swivel horrifically slicing fingers off of people to add to his strange collection. Many go into a pot he carries around, but we don't know why he's gathering them or what their purpose is. Fingers seem to sprout from his person, adding to his disconcerting appearance. I just want to crawl up in a ball and hide whenever he smiles and reveals a jaw filled with small moving digits. Thank you, artist Juan Ferreyra, for freaking me out so damn much.
Ferreyra also delivered a gorgeous cover for this issue depicting an homage to Andrew Wyeth's painting "Christina's World." Reece is in the position of Christina, with Declan startled nearby and an angry farmer wielding a shotgun and a bloody axe looming above them. It's a great looking image filled with horror and possibilities.
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There's a page early on in this issue where a mirror is shattered. The subsequent panels are shown as pieces of the same broken mirror. This is a great effect, especially because it takes place in the Hungry World, which is where madness lives. This is immediately followed by blackbirds swooping in to eat the shards of glass, picking them up with jaws filled with little fingers. Seriously, this book is so friggin' creepy.
Colder: The Bad Seed is a welcome expansion to the original series. It's not bogged down by exposition or needless explanations of the new villain or Declan's past. Instead, it's an immersive experience that surrounds the reader with terror that crawls right up your spine.
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